41q1kcgnmjl_aa240_LEADING CANDIDATE FOR MOST IRONIC PARENTING BOOK TITLE OF THE YEAR

Practical Wisdom for Parents: Demystifying the Preschool Years
by Nancy Schulman and Ellen Birnbaum

Because, really, who knows more about "practical" parenting than the directors of Manhattan's 92nd Street Y Nursery School? But don't just take our word for it:

“All four of our kids are 92nd Street Y Alumni, so we’ve long benefited from the calming wit and considerable wisdom of Nancy Schulman and Ellen Birnbaum. . . . Do yourself, your family and your child a favor: read this book.” —Tracy Pollan & Michael J. Fox

OK, OK, to be fair, the book actually got a rave, starred review from Publisher's Weekly, which reports that:

The authors note that there are many viable preschool choices that will provide youngsters with an opportunity to access the five core learning experiences of preschool. . . .

And that's certainly reassuring, because there's no chance in Hell that your youngster's going to get into the authors' preschool. . .

MOMMAS, DON'T LET YOUR BABIES GROW UP TO BE SARA BERMAN'S NANNIES

Oh! My! God! New York Sun parenting columnist Sara Berman (full disclosure: she's the daughter of half-billionaire Michael Steinhardt, a co-owner of the paper that publishes her) absolutely unloaded on uppity nannies yesterday as she "revisited" the issues raised by "The Nanny Diaries" in advance of the premiere of the movie based on the book. Read along with us, won't you, as Berman sets the scene for the psychodrama?

While I chopped a melon for dessert, doled out napkins, cut food into small bites, and played silly guessing games with the girls, I noticed that my weekend baby sitter sat down on the couch. Then I noticed that she opened the new "Harry Potter" book and started to read.

Ten minutes later, she was still reading. What a great job she has, I thought as I silently fumed. Don't worry about the toys that need sorting out, or the clothes that need folding, or the sheets that need to be changed. Why should she bother, when she's found a fool like to me to pay her while she reads "Harry Potter"?

When the movie version of "The Nanny Diaries" . . . is released this Friday, I will not be crying any tears for any nannies. . .

I know countless families — especially those in the socioeconomic bracket that star front and center in "The Nanny Diaries" — that have helped their nannies buy apartments. . . . Plenty of families have helped pay for their nannies' and their nannies' children's college and graduate degrees, as well as treat them and their children to clothes, camps, laptops, and cars. Many such generous families . . . have found their nannies stealing money, telling lies, showing up progressively late, and taking more and more sick days. . .

Oh, no, she didn't! Oh, yes, she did! She called the nannies out! "There is no way to generalize about a very complicated personal relationship," Berman writes later in the column. Well, no, we guess there isn't, unless you call all the employees ungrateful, shiftless thieves and liars, that is!

Berman wraps up this stunning hatchet job on the servant class by relating some good advice that her mother gave her the first time she interviewed potential sitters. (We're going to go out on a limb and guess she's had many opportunities to use that advice in the intervening years.) And the kicker?:

I'll be keeping these words in mind when I interview new weekend nannies this week.

Awesome!

IT GETS WORSE: WE UNDERSTAND HIS BLOG TRAFFIC IS ALSO WAY DOWN

Self-proclaimed Los Angeles pedophile Jack McClellan is in the news again, just weeks after the New York Times promoted on page A1 his blogs in which he detailed where he likes to go to look at young children. Earlier this month, a judge hit McClellan with a restraining order mandating that he stay 30 feet away from every child in the state—which effectively meant house arrest or banishment from the state. But now, after two arrests for violating the restraining order, that order has been rescinded on a technicality and McClellan is a free man again, albeit one living out of his car, with no fixed income, and with the constant scrutiny of concerned members of the community.

ALASKA AIRLINES: WE LOVE TO FLY RUNAWAYS, AND IT SHOWS!

A 15-year-old Alaska girl steals money from her parents, heads to the Juneau airport, pays for a ticket at the counter with cash—mostly ones and fives—and boards an Alaska Airlines flight, all without once being asked to show any form or ID or answer any questions about her plans. (She apparently planned to run off to meet a boy she'd met online.) The teen was intercepted by authorities in Seattle, her parents pressed charges, and she's now in a youth detention center. As for the airline, its officials note that federal regulations do not require them to ask for ID from anyone under 18, and so they technically broke no rules by ignoring the various red flags raised by the girl's attempted odyssey.
 

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST (NO, LITERALLY)

19goodxlarge1The Times Sunday arts section just ran a piece on the free ballet classes for boys offered by the city's major dance companies, a piece perhaps inspired by the Time Out New York Kids feature several weeks back on the same subject, which was written by Freelance Dad, aka Gary Drevitch.

The only new news in the Times feature for readers of the earlier article is that, back in May, the School of American Ballet had 65 boys attend its open auditions for spots in next year's classes, and accepted about 46% of those boys. Which means that Small Fellow really must not have made much of an impression on the instructors at his own audition . . .

25950_cheeriosHEY, WE'VE GOT ONE, TOO: "FEED THEM TO THE BABY"

If Little Guy could speak, he'd probably say, "Gimme some more Cheerios!"

If he could speak a lot, he'd probably say to the authors of this piece on alternative uses for the cereal, "An exfoliant?! What are you, high? They're Cheerios! You just eat 'em, you freak!" But then, apparently, he'd be wrong. Cheerios, it turns out, make an excellent exfoliant. So we suppose it's just as well that Little Guy mostly says, "Ga!"

August 22, 2007 | Permalink | Subscribe to RSS

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Posted by: ma757zda | Dec 10, 2007 2:11:31 PM

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